An Australian mom claims she was asked to leave a public pool after she was seen breastfeeding her son. According to a Facebook post by the woman, lifeguards told her that nursing in the water was not only against the rules but also unhygienic.
“Yesterday was the second time the lifeguards at the pool I take my son to for swimming lessons has asked me to get out of the water because I was breastfeeding my 10-month-old,” she wrote in a Newcastle mom’s group.
The mom then recalled the lifeguards’ explanation for kicking her out. “The reasons they gave me were, no food and drink allowed in the pool, getting milk in the water is a hygiene risk and my baby might vomit in the water.”
She told Yahoo 7 that this is her second time being asked to leave the pool at Lakeside Leisure Centre, where she explains that she nurses her infant in the shallow end of the pool so she can be close to her three-year-old. “The first time I was so incredibly embarrassed and ashamed… The second time I was angry, I am more confident in myself as a mother and of my legal rights to breastfeed anywhere, any time, including in a public pool if I choose.”
And while the woman called the lifeguards’ reasoning “pathetic” and “showing ignorance on their part,” she admits that she’s received mixed reactions to her Facebook post. Some people agree that she has a right to be outraged but others argue that breastfeeding in a public pool is unsanitary.
Regardless, the Newcastle mom is staying strong in her stance. During the same interview, she said, “Overall, it shows me that there is still so much misinformation out there about a breastfeeding mother’s right to feed her child anywhere, at any time.”